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First Motorcycle

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by blendermassacre, May 3, 2010.

  1. I was thinking about getting a car, but since I have such a low budget (roughly $1000) I was thinking of getting a motor cycle for the spring/summer/fall. In Missouri, you first have to take your permit test, then you can ride during the day without passengers for up to 6 months, then you can take your driving portion of the test.

    I'm looking for a decent bike (not a sport bike) in that price range. There seem to be quite a few late 70's early 80's bikes available. Most of them fall somewhere between cruiser and cafe bikes. I'm thinking of something around 700cc (I don't have a need for high way riding right now) to get my feet wet on, but still have power (I'm a large man. 6'5", not skinny).

    I have a friend locally who rides sport bikes who knows what to look for as far as mechanically speaking, but is there any reason what I'm looking for won't suit my needs (which are: almost daily driving less than 40 miles. no to very little highway driving)
  2. karrot-x

    karrot-x Banned

    Feb 21, 2004
    Omicron Persei 8
    Get something 90+ and preferably with radial tires, not bias.

    I bought my first bike (95 Yamaha XJ 600) for $600 in 2006. There are tons of options out there but you can never go wrong with Honda, Yamaha, or Kawasaki. Honda's wont be the cheapest but they are the easiest to maintain.

    Take MSF!

    Let me repeat that, TAKE MSF! Wear your gear!

    You can probably find a Ninja 500 for $1000 which will give you great gas mileage and a comfortable ride.

    Here's some quick finds I would look into:
    http://stlouis.craigslist.org/mcy/1706032942.html *** depending on the title
    http://stlouis.craigslist.org/mcy/1692490012.html *** also depending on CLEAR title, this could be a comfortable but fun ride

    Make sure you bring your friend, have him thoroughly test ride the bikes. Stay away from anything that pops out of gear under normal shifts or heavy acceleration; make sure there's absolutely no surging. If the seller says it only needs the "carbs cleaned" ask them how they've determined that. On older bikes some problems may come from dirty carbs but there can be a whole boat load of other issues.

    Also, always check that the VIN on the title matches the stamped VIN in the neck.

    If I were you I'd get a Honda CB750 or F1,F2. You can get a remarkably better bike for $500-$1000 more. I really recommend an early SV650, upright comfortable position, and it's very fun and reliable. They can be had for $1800.
  3. McHaven


    Mar 1, 2005
    Lucky days you can find older BMW models. They'll run for ever, have all the power you'll ever need for commuting, and then some. And they're super easy to maintain and keep up.
  4. I plan to take a safety course asap. I was generalizing with the 70's to 80's. there are some 90's in there too. My friend who rides has a helmet that is too big for him (I've got a big noggin) that I'm going to try tomorrow. If that doesn't work I'm going to go around and figure something out helmet wise before I go take my permit test.
  5. karrot-x

    karrot-x Banned

    Feb 21, 2004
    Omicron Persei 8
    I updated my post. Helmets are neat but they don't protect your arms, hands, or feet. Check out some of those links (if you haven't already).
  6. also, I'm in KC. StLouis is a 4 + hour drive away from me. I've already got steel toed boots I plan on wearing. I'll probably find some sort of riding jacket.

    Is there a non dumb protective pants.
  7. if your going to get all armored up every time you get on it you would be better off with a car.....think of all the crap you will have to carry around wherever you go....you will spend more time off the bike than on,and walking around in chaps and leathers when it's ninety is no fun.....
  8. At first, until I get more comfortable, "all armored up" seems like a pretty smart decision. even after that, having a jacket and boots and gloves is worth it to me. I probably will not ever wear chaps (sorry friends :ninja:)
  9. Although steel toes are nice for keeping your toes safe its your ankels that you want to protect. As far as a helmet it would be nice to get one from a freind, but make sure that thing fits. A inpropper fitting helmet is useless. You want to make sure that its good and snug and that you can't pull it off from behind(no matter how hard you pull).

    And as too weather 700cc would be enough. it depends on your needs and the paticular bike. If your just put putting around trying to get from point A-B and you dont much care how you look, as long as you can fit on it anything would work.

    Good Luck!
  10. I'm a gigantor anyways, so how I look went out the window a long time ago. I would eventually like to be able to ride down to my parent's house (3.5 hrs all highway 71). Having played football for 13 years (yeah, I'm for real) I know about an improper fitting helmet. I've had a bunch of broken noses from them, so I intend on avoiding them.
  11. Andrew Jones

    Andrew Jones Banned

    Feb 28, 2001
    Northampton Mass
    "You Put a Ten Dollar Helmet on a Ten Dollar Head"

    Keep the Rubber side down my friend they work best that way.

  12. Here's to hoping my handle grips aren't rubber....:ninja:
  13. I'm just over 6'4". You're going to have to sit on some of them as well to see how it feels (obviously). Smaller bikes, while still fun, become tiny FAST. And you'll want at least (I'll repeat) at LEAST a 750 of you're going to be on it for 3.5 hours eventually, especially as tall as you are.
  14. Thanks. I would most definitely be taking breaks in that trip, but It's a goal I have. The drive is super nice. I always get jealous during the summer, because I always seem to go down the same weekend as bikes blues and bbq. Tons of bikes parked under overpasses hanging out while I'm nerding out in the prius on my way down.

    I've pretty much nixed any idea of a small bike, but I don't want a grandpa cruiser either. I'll post pics after I get whatever I'm getting (whenever I'm getting it). I plan to take the permit test on friday. If I remember, the driving handbook was like 15 pages. The Motorcycle one is 50. I'm glad that It's thorough, though.
  15. PaulNYC


    Apr 2, 2009
    New York, NY
    i got paid for a gig once.
    Try to determine if you'll be riding while fatigued. If so, determine if you have the schedule to be alert enough whenever riding.

    have fun.
  16. Yeah I know you'll be taking breaks (you'll have to for fuel anyway) but the trip will still be more enjoyable on a larger bike, and who knows... You may be going further then that soon after.

    Man I love to ride. Nothing like it...
  17. The nice folks in charge of permits nad liscensing in mo don't allow permit drivers to ride at night. Luckily I will usually be riding just to classes while my wife works and has the car ( at first anyways)

    Thanks for the thought.
  18. I'm pretty excited overall. I rode dirtbikes as a kid, and I loved it. My dad and friends built a large dirtbike track (jumps etc) right next door to our house. Obviously things are different on the street, but I remember the feeling of freedom it gave me.

    Thanks to everyone for the continued advice.
  19. McHaven


    Mar 1, 2005
    pick up the book "Proficient Motorcycling" by Hough. It is the Bible regarding safe street riding techniques.

    When you're first learning, do your best to wear ATGATT (All the gear, all the time). This includes helmet, boots, glove, jacket, and at the very least heavy denim jeans. You should really look into dedicated riding pants though.

    Apparel can often be found cheap on craigslist due to people getting into the hobby and deciding it isn't for them. Motorcycle apparel is just like real fashion as well, different stuff goes out of style (even if its amazingly safe and well made). You can often pick up NOS or clearance apparel for up to 75% off. I got my Shoei helmet for 150 dollars because of an outdated graphic (new edition of the same model was 400).

    Do not cheap out on apparel. How much is your skin, your bones, your life worth to you? People often get into motorcycling thinking it'll be less expensive than owning and maintaining a car. I always say factor in another 500 dollars for your first bike purchase, then you'll have enough to really have a good set of riding gear.

    Always ride your own ride, and don't be a nuisance. This includes riding too fast, riding too slow, having ridiculously loud annoying pipes (loud pipes do not save lives, they risk rights). If you aren't comfortable with something, stop, check it out, and get in the zone. Mistakes are made way too often when motorcyclists don't focus on their ride. It isn't like driving a car where you can zone out and manage to be alright. Every intersection is a possible death sentence, due to inattentive cage drivers.
  20. McHaven


    Mar 1, 2005
    Also: Taking the course will not mean you are prepared for public roads. After you get your permit or whatever and a bike, go out with a friend on empty country roads and ride. Practice drills in an empty parking lot. Always keep your skills up. You lose 'em, and you can lose big time.

    As far as this 3.5 hour trip, if that's a busy highway, I'd recommend finding the backroads to get there. Much more enjoyable to ride how you want on backroads, than deal with cars all around you. And for focus while riding, wear ear plugs. You can still hear everything you need to hear, but it cuts down on the wind noise and makes it a lot easier to listen to yourself think.

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